Yesterday I received word that heaven gained another angel – Sistelia Jones.
Sis and her sisters, Blanche and Lucille, lived next door to me for my entire life. They were not just my neighbors, they were my adorable cute adopted grandmothers.
The ladies watched me get on the school bus my first day of kindergarten, waited every day for me to stop in on my way home, and waved as I pulled out of the driveway off to my high school graduation fully dressed in cap and gown.
Sis never had any children of her own and definitely wasn’t the mushy emotional type. Yet when it came to me, she became a ball of hugs and kisses. She called me her “Tiffy” which was a nickname that I only came to accept in my twenties.
Before then, only my father and Sis were allowed to use that special name.
“Grandmothers are just antique little girls.” ~Unknown
I spent a lot of time with my adorable adopted grandmothers, but I also spent much of my time with my own grandmothers as well.
Both grandfathers passed before I was born, so the ladies were all I had.
My Granny lived just a few doors down from my childhood home as well, and I’d spend countless hours playing gin rummy, high-low-jack, and poker with her and my elder ‘aunts’ .
It was also these ladies that introduced me to the game of golf for which I am forever grateful.
My Nona on my father’s side lived with my aunt Ella in an apartment downtown Providence til she was 90 years old, and then went to live in a nursing home for another 7 years.
I’d go visit her a few times a week with my Dad and she’d joke around, show me how to root plants, and my favorite: tell stories.
The elderly are walking, talking, live history books.
A Little Piece of History
I’ve always had a soft spot for the elderly, but what I love most about them are the stories they have and tell. The lives they have lived are so different and strange to those who are growing up in the 21st centuries.
My old soul still has an appreciation for those who have come before us, laid the pathways for us to follow, and sadly, most have been left behind without any appreciation.
My Nona was born in 1905 and lived until 2002. She witnessed every significant moment in history within the 20th Century, from the Depression to the invasion of Iraq, she was there. She suffered, sacrificed and succeeded.
It’s So Simple
We can learn so much from those who have come before us if we just take the time to listen and care.
You always see elderly couples waiting for the bus at the local super market. They obviously live near you, so why not offer them a ride home? That 5 or 10 minute ride is priceless to someone else.
When you see an elderly person in the park along your morning run, take a minute to stop and say hello
How many times have you seen an older Veteran sitting in Dunkin Donuts with his morning newspaper and coffee? Will it hurt that much to buy him a coffee and donut for $2 and sit for a minute?
Just A Little Bit
So after several decades of living and succeeding, what is it that most elderly people desperately crave?
A tiny bit of well deserved attention.
They want to tell their stories. They want to relive their past that they meant so much to them. They want to know that someone cares, someone is there, and someone is listening.
Let that someone be YOU.
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